I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Balzer + Bray on September 17th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.
Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.
But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.
I spent the summer a bit on a fantasy kick, renewing my love of inventive world building and epic characters. The Burning Sky held a lot of appeal with it’s magic and of course a romance between a powerful mage and a prince!
I can’t even remember the last book I’ve read with so much magic (probably since Harry Potter) and I welcomed it back into my life like an old friend. So much creativity and excitement ensues with surprises and imagination. I mean, there’s wand usage, human-to-animal transformations and magic carpets! If I had to pick one aspect of this novel that was my absolute favorite, that was it. There was a great marriage between a magic realm and the real world of historical England and I liked how it spanned both worlds. I can’t say I was 100% able to grasp the world building in the magic Realm though. I was able to follow along just fine but I don’t feel like I have a strong understanding of it all.
Part of the story involves Prince Titus hiding Iolanthe and training her to defeat the evil and powerful Bane. This had a lot of fun elements from hiding her gender as a boy to teaching her to use her elemental magic through a magic book called the Crucible that transports you into stories, like Sleeping Beauty, for example. A lot of cool stuff happens with this. And I adored the connection these two developed as they worked side by side too. I wouldn’t say the romance is strong in this first installment, but a solid friendship is established and the beginnings of more. This is truly something I look forward to seeing grow even more in the sequel. Individually, these characters were amazing as well. The Prince was remarkably efficient and prepared, but he also had a bit of a cunning side. And Iolanthe was determined, even when she was scared. She’s like a little chameleon with both her magic and charm. Great characters are essential in a good fantasy read and that is exactly what you find here. I’m definitely excited for more from this world!
“But we will never accomplish anything worthwhile in life if we require the guarantee of success on the onset.”